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  1. Default Best way to track weather/traffic along the route?

    Need some ideas on the best way to track weather/traffice along our cross country trip. I know I can try and tune in on local radio stations but that may not be the best way. I do have a PDA/Phone with internet access but I'm not sure how well it will do while driving. If you know any websites that would be best please inform me. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Get a Weather Band Radio

    Quote Originally Posted by s-one
    Need some ideas on the best way to track weather/traffice along our cross country[ trip.
    I would get a NOAA weather band radio and monitor the weather that way. These seven-channel radios broadcast the local weather 24/7. Most CB radios inlcude these channels. In addition, you can always obtain current info from the State DOT or 511 programs. More links and ideas are here on the RTA road conditions page.


  3. Default

    excellent, thanks Mark

  4. #4
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default for your mobile internet phone or PDA

    A website that might be of use to you: (National Weather Service) for local radar images, etc. You might want to bookmark it on your phone or PDA, its a long one. Although, as always, its recommended to stop driving to check this, but at least you have the option to see whats going on in addition to hearing it.

    Traffic sites are hard to come by though. My verizon broadband phone comes with some pre-book marked for metro areas, but thats it.

    With the "mobile domain", .mobi TLD now availble for registration (its in its sunrise right now, general registration begins in August), I expect to see more sites that offer content to mobile internet soon.

    Last edited by RoadTripper Brad; 06-13-2006 at 02:22 PM. Reason: fixed the link... no "www."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Do you see the radar images on your phone?


    That is a cool site. Are you actually able to view radar returns that way your phone?


  6. #6
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default yes... and no

    Yes, you can even get the radar loop. Even weather satellite images and their loops. The problem, of course, is quality. My cell phone has a decent sized screen, but its not very detailed. It's the same image that's availble at, only squished down. Atleast thats what it looks like right now, some local regions may have a better radar image for mobile phones.

    There is enough detail on the radar image/loop to where you can make out state lines, major interstates, etc, and see the relationship of radar returns to those. The city it pulls up for the weather data, such as Phoenix, AZ, was placed in the center.

    The satelite image from the NWS is, however, VERY good for a mobile phone.

    Just for kicks, I decided to see if the Weather Channel offered a mobile service... and they do. By entering into your mobile internet browser, you can access TWC, and it's radar maps and satelite images.

    I'm looking at the radar image for Phoenix, and while it doesn't have a looping image, the quality is FAR greater for this particular phone. The satelite image is good as well, but I think I personally prefer the one availble through the NWS mobile site.

    Comparison when viewed through a Motorola E815 Broadband Phone with Verizon Service* | (mobile service)

    Still Radar Image: FAIR | Good
    High Res. Image: FAIR | n/a
    Radar Loop: FAIR | n/a
    Satelite Image: EXCELLENT (regional)| Good (regional/national)
    Watches/Warnings: YES | YES

    You might find your particular phone or PDA displays the NWS images better. If this is the case, then the NWS site does by far offer more information.

    My next phone is (hopefully) going to be a motorola smartphone or blackberry, which should offer more detailed images.


  7. #7
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default "Programs"

    I also found a few programs offered for download by Verizon for certain phones. About 6 different 'weather' programs are availble, including "the weather channel". I downloaded the 10 minute free trial for three, one geared towards pilots the other two are normal ones. *ALL require a subscription for continued use.

    WeatherScout offers VERY good mobile radar loops, Satellite IR Cloud loops, visual cloud loops, fish and game forcasts, Dept. of Natual Resources information for your location, and other information.

    Pilot MyCast 4 uses airport codes (PHX for Phoenix Sky Harbor, SEA for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and EAT for Wenatchee Pangborn Memorial Airport). Pilot MyCast 4 offers the same radar and satelite as WeatherScout, however, it offers information specific to pilots (turbulance forcasts, etc.).

    Also decided to try out a program called "MyCast", again very similar to the programs listed above.

    I would recommend checking with your wireless service provider or online for dowloadable programs for tracking weather via your mobile device.

  8. Default

    Hey Brad,

    Thanks very much for all the information. I'll be sure to try them on my phone. I also stumbled on an application for the pocket pc (pda/phone) that downloads weather radar from NWS. I'll probably suspect it works like the website you mentioned above.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default There is a HUGE CAVEAT here!

    Wow, I had no idea that this form of programming could be delivered to PDAs on the road. Very cool.

    BUT! There is a huge caveat here -- the user must be in a network where the third-generation (3G) network is actually working. In most states, if you are within 1/2 mile of a Interstate highway there is better than a 60% chance that it will work. But if you are on US-50 in the middle of Nevada or hundreds of other places in America -- your best source of weather will still be "a wet finger" (for wind direction) and "your eyes" for everything else.

    But thanks for these tips!


  10. Default

    I've not used one before, but I'd love to give it a try...

    Most of the higher-end GPS's have weather and traffic integrations that will allow you to avoid these areas on your route.

    For an example, check out the Garmin StreetPilot 2820. (

    As a side note, weather and traffic information is only available in select cities; but I would assume most major cities would be included.
    Last edited by RoadTripper601; 06-14-2006 at 09:44 AM. Reason: Added side note.

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